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i'm eliot spitzer. this is "viewpoint." the holiday season is just around the corner and mitt romney must be feeling generous. having lost his race for the presidency romney may be leaving politics but not before leaving behind a present the democrats may enjoy for years to come. in a conversation with donors and fund-raisers wednesday romney blamed his defeat on "gifts" president obama gave to key democratic constituencies including young people, african-americans and hispanics. >> romney: what the president -- the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition. give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government.
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and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote. >> eliot: romney claimed the president wooed young voters with free contraceptives and forgiveness of college loans. for hispanic voters, something special. >> romney: what the president did is he gave them two things. one, he gave them a big gift on immigration with the dream act amnesty program. number two put in place obamacare which is -- by basically is $10,000 a family. it is a proven political strategy which is give a bunch of money on the government to a group and guess what? they'll vote for you. >> eliot: an analysis that left romney lamenting his loss with this. >> romney: the giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with. >> eliot: kind of brings back memories of romney's infamous 47% video. white house press secretary jay carney disagreed with romney telling reporters and i quote "i
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think that the view of the american people, of the electorate and of the election is at odds with the truth of what happened last week." but romney's harshest critics have been leading republicans and as fast as romney tried to tear down bridges louisiana governor bobby jindal tried rebuilding them. >> absolutely reject that notion, that description. i think that's absolutely wrong. that is not -- i don't think that represents where we are as a party and where we're going as a party. i think that's got to be one of the most fundamental take aways from this election. >> eliot: karl rove had a different take on romney's electoral problems. he told an audience in erie pennsylvania last night "mitt romney what what i scientifically call a butt-ugly primary." chairman haley barbour echoed that with this comment on the g.o.p.'s electoral ground game. >> we've got to give our political organizational
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activity, you know, a very serious proctology exam. >> eliot: hmm. there you go. that's quality political analysis. for more on romney's remarks and the future of the g.o.p. and the hispanic vote, i'm joined by a great friend, luis gutierrez democrat of illinois and a member of the hispanic caucuses. i have to ask you after hearing mitt romney, what gifts did you get, buddy? you gotta fess up to get your vote, what were the gifts? >> eliot i called my wife right away. i said check the mail. she said we get everything by direct deposit honey. we gotta wait for the bank account to clear it. it is pretty silly. you and i remember we talked about the 13,000, 14,000 young people who stood at navy pier who signed up after the president said i'm not going to deport anymore young undocumented youth. you know what they came with?
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a check for $465. right? and the patience to wait in that line. you know what they get? you know the gift they get? a work authorization permit so they can go and work in the united states of america. and see their way through their education. you know, this is silly. so in other words if you run on a campaign that people should have the same kind of healthcare that members of congress, that's a gift. well guess what. that's a gift that i got first then. if you say to the american public you should be able -- i get -- i send my kids to school because i make $174,000 so they don't have a problem going to any college they want but if we ensure that everyone has an opportunity to go to school and save money and going to school, it is almost like hey, you don't have to pay the college loans back, i think it is really sad eliot, when i hire young people, the first thing i ask them when i hire them is how much do you owe? the first thing i think about when i set a salary is how am i going to help these young people who come to washington.
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kids are burdened with debt. we have to help them out of that. they have to pay it back. it is not free. we took the wall street bankers out of the equation but that's about it. i think it is really sad. >> eliot: congressman you're so right in the way you articulate and through our conversations, all over the past couple of months you have been consistent and articulate on this. mitt romney's statement is offensive. to guess to the very core of why he does not understand the folks who don't want to vote for him. because he thinks people are bought. he think everything is a transaction. that it is mersary. -- mercenary. these folks signing up for the deferral, they want to work. they don't want anything for free. >> think about this. this is a man who admitted after he fixed his tax return so he could pay a little bit more in the one year he revealed to us, he was paying 13% 14% taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth. and he's going to talk about the gift that -- but let me say this. i think it is very important to
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understand when he says that immigration was a gift, we worked tirelessly and you and i both know we demanded this of our president. we wish he had done it earlier. was it smart politically to do it? was a great public policy? that's what was essential. let me say this. mr. romney we passed the dream act 216-208. 55 u.s. senators stood up in the senate to pass the dream act. what the president did was the will of the people transmitted through their legislative body. you're just angry because we were able to get over your filibustering in the senate. >> eliot: that's exactly right. the interesting thing is the republican party at least those who are thinking about the future are rejecting mitt romney's view. they're saying this is a world view of the past. they know for the politics of the future and what some of them believe, they've gotta change their views. the dynamic is going to be different going forward i think. >> i think it is going to be. this morning, i saw my friend, congressman paul ryan. we talked a little bit this morning. you know what the first thing he
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reminded me, he said luis, i was a cosponsor of your original comprehensive immigration bill along with other republicans. we had a wonderful conversation. i'm not committing him to anything on this program. we had a wonderful conversation but the fact is there are republicans who don't -- who look at the election, including paul ryan who are saying you know what? i used to be on the bill. luis, maybe you and i should have a conversation. i look forward -- there are many, many republicans who don't have the view that mitt romney has. they're look at ways to expand their party and to have a different politics in america. >> eliot: look, there are some republicans who never had that view. some republicans who had that view who may be changing for political reasons. that's okay. it is going to succeed. >> you know what ryan told me? i'm not going to do it because it's political. he said i want to do it because it the right thing to do. i think that speaks very, very well of a man who just came off a vice presidential election and i call him my friend. >> eliot: congressman you have been a clarion voice on
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this issue for a very long time and i think you're finally seeing the fruits of you your hard work having laid a foundation with your colleagues and the public. now as you said, the tens of thousands of kids signing up to get that deferral, you're seeing it in real life and the joy in their eyes. it is a remarkable thing. >> 225,000 have signed up. i look forward to coming back to you. i bet you 300,000 by the end of the month. >> eliot: i won't take that back. i'm glad you're right. i'm not going to make a mitt romney bet on it. >> we won't do that. >> eliot: is this going to fundamentally change politics as we go forward? you and i -- i hope it does. that would be healthy for the american public. >> here's what i said. look, here's the table. immigration is on the table. the republicans, i think have come to understand the democrats are going to continue to run the tables on statewide elections on congressional elections and including -- look, the president got nearly 75% of the latino
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vote. moreover, democratic senatorial candidates got over 70%. democratic congressional candidates got over 70% of the latino vote. we're one out of ten voters today. think about it. you and i will be around, eliot in ten years when latinos represent 25% of all of those 18 or older in this country. look, it is a demographic that is there that they have said no to but i think there is a lot of republicans that yeah, they're going to do it because it is politically correct but there are a whole bunch of others who say you know what? it is time to get it done for other good reasons. >> eliot: this is not karl rove. let's tweak the get out of the vote. this is a fundamental ideological battle. >> does it help? that's the way politics should be. a community of people get together and defend, united, their self-interest and go to the polls and say here's how we're going to vote to protect our self-interest and politicians listen. that's the way it is supposed to work. >> eliot: it is called
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democracy. you luis gutierrez, thank you for your time tonight. >> you're welcome. >> eliot: for insight on how a democrat can win in a red state it is a pleasure to bring on senator-elect heidi height camp, democrat of north dakota. a string of words we did not think we could say senator-elect, congratulations! >> well, thanks, eliot. it has been great. it is amazing. >> eliot: you look as though you're still floating as well you should be. how did you pull this off? you were, according to the polling data until the very a tiny bit beneath what you needed to get then you sprang out claimed victory, got the brass ring on election night. the whole nation was clearing. tell us what it was like. >> well, we had a lot of help from people all across north dakota and people across the country who believe that we need to end the partisan gridlock. we need to move forward in this country and we need to get things done for north dakota and for the rest of the country and you know, people just believed. it was really gratifying and i know that you've been there and
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you've had great electoral success yourself. but you know, when you stand in front of a camera and you claim victory, you know behind you are literally thousands and thousands and thousands of north dakotans who believed, who talked to their neighbors, who encouraged their neighbors to make this vote. and who said it will make a difference for the country and for our state. i'm just honored to be here. >> eliot: i can say something maybe you're too self-ef acing to say we heard over and over from the folks in north dakota, the thing about heidi we like her. they don't say that about many politicians but they know you from your days as attorney general. they know from you battling back from cancer. they know you as a person and they all said we like her. we want her to represent us. it was one of those victories that made people feel good. rarely happens in politics. enough of that. i'm going to ask you the real questions. that's too easy. you're coming into the senate. the farm bill is high on your agenda. we had a segment last night with
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peter welch from vermont. explain how you're going to do it. >> it is a combination of nutrition and farm programs that provide a safety net to our producers so that they'll take the risk. i mean right now the average input cost in north dakota are about a million dollars. who small farmer, what medium-size farmer is going to take that risk without having some level of insurance and so to me to continue this great economy that we have, in the ag factor, 16 million jobs, we need to provide some risk mitigation to our producers. that's a huge part of this. crop insurance is a huge part. beyond that, making sure we have the conservation. we have the biofuels. we have all of the programs to innovate and create for north dakota and for the rest of the country. and in the nutrition programs. you know, what's interesting people say it is all about partisan gridlock, eliot. but the bottom line is in the house, they have the vast
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majority of votes. they could move that if they wanted to. it has been bipartisan. huge bipartisan vote in the senate. we're hoping it gets done in the lame duck because our producers and producers throughout the country need to have the certainty to put the crops in the field next year. >> eliot: senator, you're right. this is less partisan than regional. there is a lot of fighting and bickering over how you divvy up the dairy. that's a tough issue but it's gotta be done because every member of the ag sector, whether new york vermont or north dakota depends on it. i want to switch gears. your state is booming because you have oil fracking, natural gas. you want the keystone pipeline built. >> absolutely. i think that we need to figure out not only how we do all of the above in energy but how we move energy and i've been talking a lot about smart grid, about making sure that our electrical grid system is secure for the future. it is updated but also pipelines and pipelines are a big part of it. we want to be regionally
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self-sufficient. that's great for america. especially as it relates to making sure that we're not dependent on the middle east for oil. we just -- we just need to get this done and there's a balance that can be struck. i've said over and over again the problem is that you got people on the right who say it is all about fossil fuels whether it is coal, oil or gas. you got people on the left saying tomorrow we can turn on the windmills and that will get us the electricity we need. they're both wrong. we need to have a balanced approach. we also need to think sensibly about how we move the energy in the future. >> eliot: do you think the president is going to have the various departments of energy, e.p.a., federal level move forward on the pipeline after the new year? >> well, it's a state department that needs to make the decision and i've said all along that the decision the president made was not the right decision. it wasn't the right decision for american jobs at a time when we need those private sector jobs. it wasn't the right decision for energy independence. i think the state department and
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the president now that down in nebraska, they've moved it off sand hills and they've moved it off the okla la aquifer i think you'll see approval. how soon that's going to happen, we don't know. >> eliot: i think we're seeing why you can win in a red state because that's clearly not the democratic position. filibuster reform something we talk about often on the program. it is necessary to make the senate a functional body. where do you stand on that? do you think something is going to happen? >> tom udall a colleague of ours when we were a. g.s is pushing this hard along with a whole lot of other people. i just don't understand how one person anonymously, can hold up the rest of the country. so we need to stop that. that's part of stopping the gridlock. we'll be moving forward with a rational approach, still looking at filibuster in the traditional mr. smith goes to washington sense but taking the irrationality out of this process is critically important. >> eliot: good luck getting the irrationality out of
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washington. if somebody can do it, will you. senator-elect, heidi heitkamp, great to chat with you. >> bye-bye. >> eliot: the escalating crisis in israel. congressman jerry nadler joins us. here in our own country. >> it's an issue that ultimately effects each and every one of us. >> thats why current is stepping up. >> ... by feeding the needy. >>... feeding the needy. >>... feeding the needy. >>... feeding the needy. >>... feeding the needy. >> for an entire week we'll explore hunger, malnutrition even obesity. >> ... and offer solutions. >> so join us here at current tv where together, we'll feed the needy. doge dart. >> doge: new rules.
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>> eliot: house speaker john boehner may not want to raise marginal tax rates on the wealthiest americans but he would probably be surprised to hear the view of one subset of the so-called 1%. they gave us our number of the day. 220. that's how many folks make up
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the patriotic millionaires. 2-year-old group that's asking for higher tax rates on the rich. on themselves. these are certifiably rich people including game publisher carlston and the founder of the men's wearhouse george zipper. about a dozen of them visited washington, d.c. yesterday to advocate reasonable policies such as a clinton era top tax rate of 39.6%. considering the escalation we've seen on the incomes of the top 1%, they want a new tax bracket for anyone making more than $10 million a year. yes, these patriotic millionaires would like their own tax rates to go up. you have to be nuts to actually want to pay more in taxes? no. not nuts. in fact, you don't even have to do it as a matter of fairness. one patriotic millionaire told "mother jones" magazine he's acting in pure self-interest pointing out that the middle class are his customers and he needs them to be financially healthy. here's what it's come to. even some of those who would end up paying the most under
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proposed tax hike are starting to see the big picture. now, if only john boehner grover norquist and the rest of the mathematically challenged members of the g.o.p. would adjust their focus everyone would be better off in the long run. mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. >> eliot: for the second day in a row violence has escalated. yesterday, israel in response to a reported 1,000 rocket attacks from gaza, this year killed ma has leader jabari. in retaliation hamas fired over 270 rocket into israel killing three. israel responded by bombing suspected rocket launching sites as well as other suspected terrorist sites killing 16. israel has also begun moving troops toward the border and
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called up 30,000 reservists, muscle flexing to raise the specter of a ground invasion. president obama called benjamin netanyahu to pledge his support and morsi to assert israel's right to condemn itself and president morsi did not agree. saying today and i quote... >> eliot: to discuss the growing violence in gaza, i'm joined by our good friend, recently re-elected congressman jerry nadler of new york. sir, always a pleasure to have you on the show. >> good to be here. >> eliot: this is an escalation and a moment of tension that's unparalleled in recent years with one of the strikes, the missiles from gaza actually landing in a suburb of tel aviv. what is the next step to hopefully de-escalate this crisis? >> i'm not sure. the next step, if it is going to be deessa cated the next step is for the president to talk to
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perhaps to the egyptians and through them to hamas and get everybody to step back. that's what hopefully will happen. >> eliot: hamas has been launching, as i just said, on a daily basis 1,000 missiles over the past year. israel said enough is enough. the president has clearly stated as rightly he should, that hamas' behavior in ghana is unacceptable. was the israeli response appropriate? >> the israeli response was appropriate and far less violent than would be justified. the principal of proportionality in international law does not mean that you have to do only what the other side did. it means your response must be limited to what is proportional to the necessity to stop the aggression. the aggression is the firing of rockets. whatever is necessary to get hamas to do that is legal under international law.
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>> eliot: it is also worth repeating that israel's first strike was against known terrorist leader and subsequent strikes are against missile launching entities themselves is hamas getting more aggressive because it has greater support from egypt? do you see that correlation? >> i think one has to assume that. i think there are some other groups now to hamas' more extreme flank that are pressing it. that they're under some pressure. they're not offering enough resistance so to speak. i think that that is an operation. but no sovereign state can permit aggression against its citizens can permit rocket fire to continue. and one other thing should be pointed out. israel's response is the legal military response. hamas, every time they fire a missile at a populated area, that's a war crime. >> eliot: yep. also the point that certainly jerry, congressman you
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appreciate from your many travels to the middle east, the distances here are so small. from gaza, hamas can launch missiles that virtually hit all of the populated areas of israel. >> that's right. 15 seconds of warning to get undercover from a short-range missile. and frankly, israel has the obligation, the government of israel has the obligation to protect its citizens from this kind of aggression, whatever it takes. >> eliot: one of the major destabilizing factors in the middle east is what is going on in syria. the syrian -- there are a few -- not missiles but some explosions in the golan along the syrian/israeli border. is that also one of the approximate causes that's destabilizing not only what's going on in gaza but what may happen with hezbollah? >> i don't think so. i think that civil war has potential to spread -- it has potential to spread to turkey, to iraq, to jordan not really to israel.
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i think that israel lobbed a few shells to warn them to stay away from the border. but no faction sees itself advantaged -- the other factions by getting israel involved. >> eliot: one of the more worrisome developments in the past week, in my mind has been that jordan which has been unfortunately besieged by several hundred thousand refugees from syria is also seeing some domestic violence with riots because of gas prices and jordan had been to a certain extent, the island of stability within the arab world. how do you assess that dynamic? >> that's highly dangerous. the jordan anymonarchy is always unstable. it has a majority of palestinians with no particular loyalty to the regime. even the bedwyns the backbone of the regime are getting rested. that regime could conceivably be overthrown. that's been true for the last 20 years. if it were to be overthrown, it is a good possibility the muslim brotherhood extremist government
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might take over such as the one it is taking over in egypt now. and one of the interesting questions is the people have taken over in egypt have been extremists. that's their history. they've been -- they've been supporters of violence -- violent aggression against israel. now that they have power that they're strained by the necessity of supporting their own people by the necessity of america, of receiving aid their conduct has been somewhat restrained. the way it will continue to be so remains to be seen. >> eliot: muhamed morsi has been dancing an interesting dance. hard to predict. to take a very hard turn away from the middle east quickly your district was affected by hurricane sandy. how much money do you think new york and new jersey can actually hope to get from washington to help recover? >> i think it is too early to venture a guess as to how much money. we'll see. clearly a large amount of money is needed. one interesting fact that i don't think has been mentioned
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is that fema has in its current budget in its current account which doesn't need replenishment from congress about $6 billion. all of which it could spend on new york and new jersey and connecticut. and that would exhaust its funds for the year. it would then have to come back to congress either for more funds but also because there will be other natural disasters there will be tornadoes in the midwest, flooding somewhere else an earthquake. and for any of that, to have any money, they're going to have to come back to congress. not simply for the new york/new jersey tri-state area. >> eliot: i hate to say it is a good thing but it means there will be a larger political coalition that will be supportive of supporting the funds that will go into fema. >> it will be necessary. >> eliot: congressman jerry nadler, a pleasure to you have on the show. >> good to be here. >> eliot: congratulations on the re-election. >> thank you. >> eliot: what does chelsea handler hope for the president?
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but whether he's climbing everest, scuba diving the great barrier reef with sharks or jumping into the market he goes with people he trusts, which is why he trades with a company that doesn't nickel and dime him with hidden fees. so he can worry about other things like what the market is doing and being ready, no matter what happens which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense from td ameritrade. >> eliot: still to come, bp is
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about to make a big payment. but first alec baldwin on secessionist -- named g.o.p. chairman on diversity and brian kilmeade on energy drinks. when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> tonight's show, republicans still reeling from their electoral defeat last week and reassessing their outreach efforts after suffering enormous erosion of support amongst asians latinos and asian americans or as they refer to the groups, the reason their kids didn't get into their first choice schools. >> in some popular state, there was, for example in some parts of rural maine, there were dozens, dozens of black people who came in and voted on election day. everybody has a right to vote. nobody in town -- >> now what is it? several states want to secede from the united states. because of the results of the election. so strange because i had many of those states on the list of states i would like to secede from the united states.
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they call it the united flakes of america? >> i don't know. >> united states of -- >> police say three men were so angry that president obama won the election they went to paramour and sold stop signs and street signs. >> the signs were piled up in the pickup as troopers pulled it over. take a look. you can see a stop sign and two road signs from an intersection. >> haley barbour was in vegas for the republican governor's association and yesterday said the g.o.p. needed a proctology exam. >> i'm going to ask you which republican needs to bend over first? >> oh, wow. >> that's a very loaded question thomas. in my mid-40s i've had one of those exams i don't want to go first. >> the energy drink you're about to chug could kill you. why did they give me this? >> you have one in your pocket. >> joining the list of potentially deadly pick me ups i'm on hour one. keep your fingers crossed. >> trump tweeted earlier today just saw my new line of shirts,
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ties and suits at macy's. you know what i want for the holidays? for you to go the [ bleep ] away. >> super fast computers are necessary for something called high frequency trading or hft. or [ bleep ] or the sound of your pension evaporating. >> eliot: multibillion dollar settlement for bp coming up next on "viewpoint." when the chocolate is hershey's. life is delicious.
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>> eliot: as justice finally been done after the largest environmental disaster this country has ever seen. the company responsible for 11 deaths on board the deep water horizon rig and unleashing millions of gallons of crude oil in the gulf, bp agreed today to pay the largest criminal fine in u.s. history. amounting to $4.5 billion along with pleading guilty to 14 charges, including 11 count of felony manslaughter, one count
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of felony obstruction of justice as well as violations of the clean water and migratory bird treaty act. the charges may not end there for bp. attorney general eric holder acknowledged at a press conference today. >> i want to be absolutely clear that today's resolution does not -- does not mark the end of our efforts. in fact, our criminal investigation remains on-going. >> eliot: joining me now is oil industry bob cavnar and author of the book "disaster on the horizon." as always, thanks for joining us. >> great to be with you, eliot. thank you. >> eliot: let me ask the necessary first question. was justice done? does this somewhat correlate with the magnitude of the harm done or still not enough? >> you know, eliot the one thing we have to keep in mind here is there were 11 men killed on this rig. a lot of times we talk about the
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environmental damage which is very serious but the deaths are something that can -- those people can never be replaced. their families can never be whole after this. the $4.5 billion to bp one of the third largest oil companies in the world is not significant but i do think that the guilty pleas to criminal manslaughter and then the three employees also being charged with felonies was very significant. >> eliot: i think that's right. the money is almost insequential to a company this size. but it is the criminal cases and the manslaughter. when you read the actual criminal complaint, it is amazing how they ignored the evidence that bad stuff was happening down that rig. they just didn't want to see it. didn't want to report it. it was a horror story as you reported. so well in your book. this was a disaster waiting to happen. >> it really was. and the decisions made by the two managers who were charged
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with manslaughter today really kind of indicates what kind of organization bp is. we always talk about organizations in terms of how their cultures are developed and they -- they always mirror the leader. and so if you have employees who are making cavalier decisions that could cost lives, you have to look up the chain to who's leading that organization that creates that kind of culture. >> eliot: that for me then raises one of the hardest questions. will the penalties imposed today, the combination of dollars, criminal sanctions be sufficient not only within bp to change the culture if they haven't changed already but to send out to others in the industry the message that there has to be a change. >> unfortunately i don't believe it is going to change any behavior in the industry. that's the big problem here. if you recall during the enron days when the ceo and the chairman were marched before the cameras by u.s. marshals, they had the industry's attention at that point.
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here since it's a corporation pleading guilty. there's not a lot of personal responsibility beyond these few employees, it doesn't have the impact in the industry that it could have had it gone higher or had the penalties been more severe. >> eliot: you make a critically important point. when you look at changing corporate behavior, only if the people at the very top are held accountable will this message radiate down and out to other companies. do you think there's still any prospect that there will be responsibility found for those at the very top or do you think that really this has now come to a conclusion? >> i think everyone's hoping inside the company that this is the end but there are some -- there are -- there were a couple of situations where senior executives withheld information from congress and withheld information from the government and from the public. and i still think that there could be some accountability there and there certainly needs to be. >> eliot: inevitably, most of the count relate to the negligence leading to the loss
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of life which was the greatest tragedy but there are some counts as you just alluded to, relating to the destruction of information, the failure to be honest in reporting information back to congress. one of the things that continues to amaze me about this entire history is that a lot of the information that the public got about the magnitude of the leak of oil into the gulf came from the camera that was sent down after congressman marquee insisted they send a camera down there to see what was going on. it wasn't something e.p.a. insisted on or anybody else. that gave us the pivotal information. >> that's exactly right. i've been in the business for 30 something years. when that camera first turned on that well head and i saw that flow, i was even shocked. at what it looked like and the magnitude of it. it really got the public's attention. one of the federal -- the felony charges that were charged today to david rainey was for misreporting and for withholding information from the government on the flow rate.
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i think that was important that that be made. >> eliot: real quickly unfortunately, such a huge issue, what do you think is the future of deep water drilling right now? has enough been done to impose upon the rigs some element about safety and environmental containment so that you're comfortable going forward? >> keep in mind we really haven't changed anything. we've changed some reporting. we do have containment on site which is a good, positive move. but we're still drilling with the same blowout preventers, the same dead men system and the same rigs we were using before. nothing has fundamentally changed. the risks are still the same. still a big human factor there to play very close attention to. >> eliot: the gulf and wall street are the same. they create huge disasters pay a little bit of money. things continue the same. it does nothing ever change, bob. i was hoping for good news here. >> unfortunately, i can't give it to you yet eliot until there is a fundamental redesign of the safety systems on the
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rigs, we still have the same risks of high failure in the last -- in the block preventer. >> eliot: thank you for that news. bob cavnar, author of "disaster on the horizon," thanks as always for joining us tonight. >> great to be with you, eliot. thank you. >> eliot: the fall of mf global and its ceo jon corzine could it finally be long overdue change for the securities and exchange commission? bethy mclean joins me coming up ahead. smart kid. [ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands?
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>> eliot: do we still need safeguards for our right to vote? you better believe it. that's next on my view. at 10:00 p.m. eastern, join jennifer granholm in "the war room" with governor jay ins lip of washington state on clean energy initiatives and the new marijuana laws in his state. that's ahead at 10:00 p.m. there's more "viewpoint" coming right up. thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in
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the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. (vo) she's joy behar. >>current will let me say anything. ñ etty overwhelming proof we don't need a voter's right act to protect against the discrimination of voting. right? wrong. it is just because we have a voting rights act that hundreds of thousands of voters were able to cast the votes necessary to re-elect president obama. so it may be somewhat disconcerting to realize the supreme court accepted for review a case that many think will leave to the voting rights act of 1965 getting struck down. section five of the act in particular is in trouble. it requires a number of states, mostly in the south and all with a history of discrimination to get permission from the federal government before changing their election procedures. as colombia law professor warns in "the new york times," we should begin preparing now for
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the likelihood that this landmark law will be struck down. which should be unthinkable. especially after taking stock of all of the efforts to suppress voting rights over the past year. in june, it was pennsylvania state house republican leader mike turzai who boasted the state's new voter i.d. law would "allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania." he didn't say this because there was any evidence of voter fraud in pennsylvania. there isn't. but the statute would have permitted hundreds of thousands of voters to be disenfranchised. this past weekend, it was wisconsin state senator and romney campaign cochair alberta darling who suggested that romney would have won wisconsin if voter i.d. laws had been in place. again, there is no evidence of voter fraud. fortunately, courts either delayed or banned enforcement of these statutes and president obama won both states by more than 200,000 votes. turzai and darling are two examples of republican state legislators honest enough in
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their comments to make it clear what underlies the massive effort to enact voter i.d. laws. republicans believe suppressing voter rights is a legitimate campaign strategy. we shouldn't forget that 33 states have passed some form of voter i.d. law. by the next election, the number of states with strict photo i.d. laws will certainly increase. all to combat a problem that we know and they know doesn't exist. which is why the federal voting rights act is so important. it is that statute that protected the right to vote, led to these unfortunate state laws being overturn and made it possible to re-elect our first african-american president. let's hope the supreme court realizes this. that's my view. ziskoel granada is a special place to learn because we have a dedicated community and a dedicated staff. and when kids come on campus everyday, they're enthusiasm for learning shines. we receive federal funding because a majority of our students are socially disadvantaged. making sure our
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students receive healthy nutritious lunches and breakfasts is critical to their learning. i would like to see students take more ownership of what they eat everyday and learn about their bodies and how their food nourishes them. sandra jonaidi i hope that we get them early enough that they've learn some good eating habits and they go forward and become very productive humans and grow up to make us all proud of them. narrator>> for more info, go to current dot com. brought to you by basf - the chemical company.
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from silver screens... to flat screens...
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twizzlerize your entertainment everyday with twizzlers the twist you can't resist. >> eliot: it sounds like 2008 all over again. regulatory dysfunction permitting excess risk leading to massive failure and loss of client money but this time, it is about the collapse of mmf global, a stinging report released today from a republican house subcommittee harshly
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critiques the exchange commission and the commodities future saying like the fbi and c.i.a. at their worst they simply didn't communicate allowing mf to fall through the cracks and spiral into bankruptcy. while places much of the blame for mf global's collapse squarely on the shoulders of the firm's ceo, jon corzine saying he took excessive risks while try to turn it into a major investment bank along the lines of goldman sachs the report suggests the possibility that the ftc should be combined a into one agency. the thought being this could have prevented the exorbitant risk and poor decisions mf global was making on the road to its downfall. joining me is bethany mclean who has writ been the crimes on wall street and around the country. bethany, is it is this the same old story all over again? >> it really is. it is amazing how often it plays out in such similar ways with different personalities. you saw the greed and even more hub rouse of jon corzine
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believing he could take this struggling firm and turn it into something approaching his old employer goldman sachs and disregarding warnings along the way that the company wasn't equipped to do the things he was doing. >> eliot: there is a story of a complete absence of internal control so when the firm was collapsing, they reached into client accounts which is really the sin of all sins in a firm like that to cover their trading losses and yet still nobody has clearly been held accountable for that piece of what happened. >> just amazing, isn't it? >> yeah, that's what i think corzine's real crime is. i use that word loosely because i don't think it is a prosecutable crime. but he just was so arrogant that he just ran over everybody's warnings at mf global wasn't equipped to manage the kind of risks he was taking. either manage them substantively or liquidwise so the firm ended up collapsing and a lot of people lost their jobs as a result. >> eliot: switching away to the regulatory side where again there are enough people who --
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the s.e.c., the ftc is this keystone cops pointing back and forth at each other? why can't anybody check to make sure there is enough capital and make sure they're not dipping into client money? >> it looks like. the details in the report, the alleged details in the report of regulatory dysfunction are pretty shocking. things that the regulators simply didn't share with each other that they would have -- that each -- the other regulators would have needed to know. and conflicting directions coming from the cftc and the s.e.c. in mf global's final days. even more shocking thing is people have been talking about some sort of rational restructuring of all of the multiple regulatory agencies for years and it just cannot get done because regulators are as good at protecting their turf. maybe not quite as good. almost as good at protecting their turf. >> eliot: that would be an interesting competition. barney frank as dodd frank was
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going through congress, very much wanted to merge these two. but the agriculture sector which pretty much controls the cf text c so we're left with another disaster. is this washington atity worse? >> i'm not sure if washington at its worse. i think we might have seen worse which is horrifying but it is washington exhibiting pretty bad dysfunction, yes. it just makes sense for regulators to have access to information and to share information and not be competing competing -- that loft things off from each other and making matters worse than better. that's what we see time and time again. the one i guess positive out of all of this is the office of thrift supervision, the supervisor of so many failed firms in the financial crisis did go away. maybe there is hope. >> eliot: marginal process. having said that, we saw the same story at the rating agencies which should have been the ones able to peer into the
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books of mf global as things spiraled out of control, wait a minute. things are problematic but instead they continued to put a high rating on all of the paper that mf was floating. how can that happen after everything we've been through? >> you know, i think the rating agencies are the culprit in case after case and almost even more so here because -- i do have a little bit of sympathy for corzine in this. he was something of a box because the rating agency prls saying if you don't produce profits, we're going to downgrade you. that would have been the kiss of death for mf global. so corzine put all of the sovereign debt on the books so that mf global could use a complicated farm of accounting in order to book profits now because the ratings agencies were demanding to see those profits. but then they either never asked or didn't understand how the profits were really kind of an accounting game and it is just shocking in that mf global
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didn't have the capacity to manage the risks this was it was taking. i don't think they understood the liquidity demands of those trades either. >> eliot: it was a liquidity crisis. did his bets at the end of the day come through? one of the things that jon corzine was saying after the firm failed was man if we had only had more time, we made bets that made sense because the sovereign debt will come back. do you know if, in fact, he was right about that? >> i think he was right. i don't think the trades ever ended up losing money. but the problem was that there were demands for collateral for money from trading partners that corzine doesn't seem to have factored into the equation and they ended up -- the trades ended up being a huge drain on mf global's liquidity and the report has some pretty great details about that. the other problem is almost an enronesque problem is that it almost doesn't matter if what you're doing in the end is okay or not. if people -- if investors get details that they didn't know and were being kept from
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Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer
Current November 15, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Israel 16, Eliot 11, Romney 10, Washington 7, North Dakota 6, Us 6, New York 5, America 5, Jon Corzine 4, Pennsylvania 4, U.s. 3, Jerry Nadler 3, Egypt 3, Luis Gutierrez 2, Bob Cavnar 2, Paul Ryan 2, United States 2, Fema 2, Bp 2, Eliot Spitzer 2
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Duration 01:00:00
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